Ti wrote:In place of a sponge I'm going to use that green foam they use at florist shops that they stick flowers in when they make arrangements. I know a girl who gets me some when I need it. Thats the stuff they use in a lot of cigar humidors and I've been using it for years. It's very tiny open cell foam that holds a lot of water so you don't have to worry so much about water splashing around and inadvertently making tea. Comes in a block and you cut it whatever size you want.
Dizzwave wrote: But thanks for the advice -- I'll look for a floral sponge, and I'll switch to distilled water ... displeased to see fruit flies buzzing around the cabinet.
... We'll see what happens as the tea continues to soak up more moisture...
This is all very exciting. My own set up is closer to Dizzwave's than Ti's gorgeous handmade box.
For a few months I was using those absorbent crystals that gardeners sometimes mixed with dirt to make it more water absorbent. I got the idea from the long Puerh LJ thread about storage and aging. Like Ti I was worried about spills and like Dizzwave I felt they dramatically increased the surface area of the water.
Unfortunately, at least in my case, they started growing furry mold in various colors whether I used distilled water or tap water. The mold seemed to grow faster each time I dumped it and replaced it with fresh crystals and water. That's why I switched to plain tap water which looks OK for at least a month.
But I would still like something with more surface area, however, and less likely to spill, so the floral sponge caught my interest, esp since I have several blocks of it that have been sitting around for years. BTW, you can get the stuff at any florist's and it is really cheap.
I can't imagine that the flies would have any interest in the puerh, esp not fruitflies, but their continued presence would be worrying.